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Corporations And International Dispute Settlement

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Chapter Summary

International dispute settlement should be subject to the rule of law and characterized by transparency, reasonable predictability, prompt and effective remedies and competent and impartial tribunals. This chapter examines models such as national courts, diplomatic protection on behalf of corporate nationals, arbitral procedures permitting direct corporate access and corporate participation within the operational framework of intergovernmental organizations. Corporate contributions of resources and expertise for conducting intergovernmental dispute settlement are illustrated at the World Trade Organization. Direct corporate access to regional dispute settlement mechanisms will be considered by reference to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). By contrast, market-based techniques obviate governmental roles when enforcing "soft" legal obligations. Finally, the chapter examines the prospect of corporate forum shopping between proliferating dispute settlement mechanisms and curtailing the regulatory flexibility of governments.

Keywords: corporate participation; international dispute settlement; North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); soft legal obligations



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